This poem was written a couple of years ago. My wife and I were at a Comedy Gala waiting for the show to start.
From our seats, I could see sets of eyes occasionally peer throw a gap in the curtain. Imagining myself in their shoes, I wrote the following poem… It is also the name of one my favourite songs by a little Australian band called Cold Chisel.
That one mad moment before the curtain rises
The electricity is in me.
I feel it build as the seconds count down to
It has all led to this –
all the knock-backs, break-throughs
nights of angst
Moments of wild oblivion when it all came together,
self doubt, misinformed ego.
I am here.
You are on the other side.
The dynamic tension between
my hopes and your expectation.
It can never end the same way twice
You will always be a different person
I am ever growing in this thing I call a craft.
I have learnt to harness the energy, of it,
at times abuse it
It keeps me sharp for these 60 minutes
When I will feel actually alive
Your applause is not like heroin, it is
more than that
It is the vital ingredient
I need for my heart to revive
To feel as if I should go on
Keep packing, moving, arriving, delivering, leaving
My other life on hold for as long as you still gasp, laugh, clap
It could all fall over
If I miss my cue
Push you too far
Say too much, not enough.
You are there
I am here
The music changes
Curtains stir to rise.
And the last second slips away.